Employees at an Amazon warehouse in the suburbs of Edmonton, Alta., launched a union campaign on Tuesday. The first in Canada for the American e-commerce giant.
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“Time and time again, the company has been firmly against workers’ interests, whether in terms of job security, speed of work, discrimination, nepotism or wages,” said François Laporte, president of Teamsters Canada.
A group affiliated with this union will attempt to unite warehouse staff in Nisco, a stone’s throw from Edmonton Airport.
North American premiere
At the moment, no North American warehouse has been consolidated for the company founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos.
According to our information, work is underway in Quebec to try to organize workers, but Amazon’s attitude towards groups of workers makes the task difficult.
Earlier this year, an attempt to organize in Alabama failed after a raging campaign.
Several employees reported pressure to give up forming a union. Text messages were sent to all employees and mandatory union meetings were organized by the employer.
The Teamsters union is concerned that Amazon is taking a similar approach in Alberta and is “actively trying to bend the rules”.
“The company can no longer simply conduct layoffs without good reason, or unilaterally change working conditions in the warehouse. Coercion, intimidation, threats, promises and undue influence are strictly prohibited,” said Bernie Hagarty, executive director of the local union.
Amazon is expanding rapidly in Quebec and elsewhere in the country. The company announced Monday that it wants to hire 15,000 employees in Canada and pledged to raise its wages to between $17 and $21.65 an hour.
In June, our Bureau of Investigation revealed Working conditions in Amazon warehouses in Quebec In a documentary called The opposite of amazon.
In addition to the need to respect the hectic pace of work, the performance of employees is monitored in real time and constantly photographed.
Additionally, we’ve disclosed that several terms of Amazon’s employment contract at Lachine’s warehouse are in conflict with Quebec labor laws.
The union’s application has been submitted to the Alberta Labor Relations Board, which must rule on its compliance.
If 40% of employees already give their support to the union movement, the vote will take place in the coming months.
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